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IT doESN’t aDD up

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, August 10th, 2020 - 57 comments
Categories: covid-19, Gerry Brownlee, making shit up, national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

For a few days now Gerry Brownlee has been peddling dog whistle conspiracy theories that the Government is hiding bad news about Covid and we should all be really concerned.

On August 5, 2020 the Spinoff commented on a press release that he had provided in this way:

Gerry Brownlee has issued a press release that reads as though it might at any moment break into all-caps. “The government needs to come clean on what they know about the state of Covid-19 in New Zealand,” said the National deputy leader. “We have had three-months of no community transmission, then inexplicably, Ashley Bloomfield tells the nation today that a second wave was a likely prospect. As well, health minister Chris Hipkins tells the House in Question Time that tomorrow he will tell Kiwis the conditions in which they will be expected to wear masks in the event of the country moving back into level two.”

He added: “It doesn’t add up. Why announce this now when there are few cases? What do these guys know that they are not telling us? New Zealanders have already sacrificed a lot during this pandemic. The least they deserve is more honest, transparent treatment.”

Then according to this Herald report he repeated his claim.

As New Zealand marked 100 days without community transmission of Covid-19, National Party deputy leader Gerry Brownlee says the Government’s warning of an approaching second wave is “very puzzling”.

The Ministry of Health announced the milestone on Sunday, with no further new cases in of the deadly virus reported for the fourth consecutive day.

There remain 23 active cases of coronavirus nationally, all in managed isolation facilities, while the number of New Zealand’s confirmed cases remains at 1219.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield thanked every person who had been tested for Covid-19, saying Sunday marked a “significant milestone”.

“However, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent,” he said in a statement.

“We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand. Every person in the team of five million has a role to play in this.”

But Brownlee told Newstalk ZB the Government’s warning of an imminent second wave of Covid-19 in New Zealand was “puzzling”.

“People have made a big effort on this and they expect to get all the relative freedom,” he said.

“None of us are complacent about it, I believe, it is something that is going to be with the world from this point on.”

And to top things off he is questioning why the Government’s advice on masks, which has gone from neutral to positive, has changed.  Overseas experience where dim witted politicians have questioned expert medical advice has not ended well.

Getting ready for a potential second wave is not puzzling.  The world is awash with the disease and we will be doing extraordinarily well if we continue to keep it out.  And you just have to see what has happened in Australia and South Korea and Singapore to see that the virus will come back and hurt if it is not eradicated.

We have elected to keep our borders open to returning kiwis and selected others.  The only other option would be to seal the borders shut to everyone.  This is not a policy decision this Government is willing to make, and not one that any Government in the world has taken.

Some of these returnees are infected.  We have had a couple of scares but so far so good.  But it should be remembered that there is a low chance that each infected returning Kiwi may spread the virus.  This is through contamination of quarantine staff, or early or late onset of the disease, or plain bad luck.  Te Punaha Matatini, a team of mathematicians and scientists, have estimated that New Zealand could expect one person over the next 18 months to be released into the community while still infectious.  That may be enough to set off a second wave.

So of course the Government should be preparing for the possibility of a second wave.  Brownlee reaching out to the tinfoil wearing sector of the population in an attempt to score political points is just weird.

57 comments on “IT doESN’t aDD up ”

  1. Incognito 1

    At the end of the day, if the Government had not warned about a possible second wave then Brownlee would have accused it of being complacent, ignorant, or negligible even and not doing enough to prepare NZ and keep us safe. With his ‘puzzling’ comments, he’s seeding doubt, fear, and distrust into this Government, authorities, and experts alike. The sub-liminal message seems to be, as always, that you cannot trust anybody and nobody is good enough except National, of course. Leave it to ‘the better team’. Yeah, right! BTW, I don’t believe for a moment that Brownlee ‘masterminded’ this campaign ‘tactic’ but his natural ignorance makes him the right person to front-foot it.

    • Sacha 1.1

      He's sounding more like Act with the 'freedom' angle. All over the place. Party of desperation.

    • lprent 1.2

      It could just be an honest mistake. Gerry Brownlee after all is well known to have the forethought that results in claims about the 2010 earthquake in Canterbury still being not settled today.

      The most recent bill to clean up that mess being passed on the 31st May last year, as much as anything because the insurance claims having to be reopened. Its most recent status on the admissibility of evidence being the 8th July this year.

      If he got so confused with what was happening on the ground a decade ago that he didn’t have the forethought to anticipate dealing with it fairly and transparently, I can imagine Gerry Brownlee getting confused by having to anticipate and getting prepared for a probable and possibly even likely future event.

      His history tends to indicate that such forethought is not part of his nature.


      After the 9 years of their last government, you’d have to wonder if the National Party has any history of policy issues about anticipation of problems.

      Looking at the way that they have now effectively gutted the tertiary sector with their strong push from 2011 for overseas students being a classic example. The risk levels of disruptions to air travel and border entry were always high even without a pandemic. Now we have universities over extended with plant and staff in way that will force hard sale decisions if a vaccine isn’t immediately forthcoming. If UoA were a business, they’d be shuttering about a third of the buildings.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.2.1

        National have never had Forward Thinking. Let alone Forward Planning. Well, not for NZ's Greater Good anyway…

  2. Peter 2

    Last week Gerry Brownlee had it the Government doing anything like suggesting every home has masks was scaremongering. And today he's trying to make out there's scary stuff being hidden.

    It must be scary for his party if this is the best he and they have.

  3. Ad 3

    OMG they need some new attack lines.

  4. He's a woodwork teacher. He doesn't have the brains for epidemiology.

    • Very insulting for all other woodwork teachers, suggesting they don't have the brains for …. whatever.

      • Jilly Bee 4.1.1

        Thank you Clive Macann – I always react quite badly when I hear that old chestnut. My partner is a retired Woodwork/Technology teacher, who has his City and Guilds (Advanced Trade Cert – NZ equivalent) qualifications earned whilst doing his apprenticeship in the UK in the late 1950s. This study entitled him to a equivalent of a BA salary during his teaching life. I have no idea what Mr Brownlee's work-working qualifications are, nor do I care – apparently he didn't last too long in that profession.

    • Chris 4.2

      Brownlee is incredibly thick. There's just no doubt about that. But it's his nastiness on top of being incredibly thick that takes him out of the species. He certainly ain't the full quid.

      • OnceWasTim 4.2.1

        I'm saving up to buy him a set of Crayola Supertips for Christmas. Any suggestions for Jude? It's probably going to have to be something synthetic, made in China from the $2 shop.

    • peter sim 4.3

      No wood work teacher would break through an airport security door.

      Brownlee is clearly deranged/stupid.

  5. dv 5

    It is really good that the Natz in their 9 years prepared the hospitals for such a pandemic by making sure there were enough ICU beds!!


    • Incognito 5.1

      The current version of the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan is dated August 2017 and updated the previous version of 2010. Guess which party was leading the Government during that period.

  6. I Feel Love 6

    Brownlee says something here about NZrs not getting immunity, herd immunity I assume. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018758380/gerry-brownlee-questions-timing-of-mask-advice-changes

    • Given that he was talking about Sqirrels running up trees and all, its more likely he was referring to the herd immunity among the obstinancy of buffaloes he lives with.

      • OnceWasTim 6.1.1

        Ekshully, a couple of years ago when I was in the remote whops, I was woken up by the sounds of a buffalo trying to screw (root) a cow. All the rest of the herd (5 or 6 at most), well managed with their shit and other output used in a productive and sustainable way. All had names – except these two. If only I'd realised at the time. Gerry and Jude would have been perfik. You'd need a pair of earmuffs though – the sound wasn't very pretty. And just up the road a kilometre or two was a cow sanctuary where unwanted and abandoned cows were rescued and lived at the pleasure of a long-suffering fella who looked after them on charity (begging for the funds to feed them), in the absence of any state assistance.

        If only I'd known the significance of it all. Spooky! Gerry and Jude!

        • greywarshark

          Heard, herd immunity? Baah.

          • OnceWasTim

            I've got photos of the cow sanctuary if ya want them (little lady). I thought taking pics of the 'act' wasn't really very couth and I was half awake anyway at the time so I don't have the dirty feeeelthy ones – and I was concerned for the welfare of my digital camera. The spectacle could have crippled it and there were only so many pixels avalaable to fit a Gerry into.

            To sumarise though, Gerry groaned and moaned – like a buffalo does, while Jude screeched and squealed like it was something out of this world. More like a pig or a weana – but as if it was some sort of practiced sound.

            But in retrospect, I think Jude would fit into that sanctuary quite well. It was fairly evident at the time though that Gerry was a spent force whose only polite option was probably just to lay down and die gracefully. Alternatively, shuffle himself on down the river and offer himself up as a bit of Gucci leather – but then think of all the chemicals and emulsifiers that would be needed to process that sort of carcass

  7. tc 7

    The way granny etc keep serving this clickbait shit up screams desperation.

    Jez's public credibility is at about used car dealer level let alone what chch thinks of him.

  8. Tricledrown 8

    The more I know nuthink Brownlee says the less support National gets.

  9. Graeme 9

    Once upon a time Gerry was appointed Minister of Maori Affairs. The local daily where I was living at time took to using the alternate spelling of his surname

    Don't think he lasted long in that job

  10. Anne 10

    Brownlee told Newstalk ZB the Government’s warning of an imminent second wave of Covid-19 in New Zealand was “puzzling”.

    Dead giveaway Brownlee was playing a political game with a Pandemic issue.

    All the Govt. did was warn people that despite our success we must not become complacent because Covid 19 is still spreading around the world and we need to remain vigilant. That does not equate to an imminent second wave.

    There will be plenty of people who will start to panic because of his mischievous behaviour and he should be pulled up on it by Hipkins, Ardern and Bloomfield.

    • Tricledrown 10.1

      NZers know Gerry is a bumbling fool this is just more proof.

      That's all National have is scaremongering and creating hysteria.

      Crying Wolf one to many times just proves National are desperate and deranged.

      • tc 10.1.1

        It's the tactic of choice as national's a policy free zone.

        got that NZ, 2 elections in a row with zero policy and proud of it

        • greywarshark

          Political tennis. Nats get in with no inflated promises, just to do a good job, more cheaply. They invite the citizens to put forward projects needed, not employ expensive consultants. Citizens travel to various venues for conferences, at their own region's expense, put forward projects which have taken many days to put together and cost. Politicians call in Treasury and discussions are held over many hours. Treasury decides that only 1:100 are viable, and turns all the others away.

          Government agencies are already manipulating the tender process I understand. When a certain level of negatives is reached, firms will find it an unreasonable cost for the business to bear, when certain firms always seem to be priced under others, or can provide some advantage over competitors.

          Nats stand, waiting for the ball, citizens serve and get smashed back. Result – No love. That would be the sort of racket they would like to set up when next back in Parliament.

  11. Rapunzel 11

    What doesn't add up for me is that he is against any idea that NZers need to have better systems in place to cover health issue but the National Party, & I wish the man no ill, are so lenient when it comes to themselves. I wish him no ill but by comparison they're in full pursuit of a more than average MP in Muller in a safe seat being off the scene for six weeks paid and likely to return and be equally as average paid by the tax payer and now in line to complete nine years and receive his hefty MPs superannuation

    • I Feel Love 11.1

      Muller has been there for 9 years???

      • Rapunzel 11.1.1

        No only six but he only has to do another 3 and his MP's pension is not at risk – basing that on an old understanding of it. I'm not surprised if you're surprised it has been even 6 years because he did nothing he's in a safe seat and it's been pointed out that it shows with that being the case with Falloon and Walker. And in regard to to Falloon Collins has has the gall to go out in support of the National candidate in Manukau for abuse with pics etc but in return for Falloon's and others' behaviour in that vein she put the boot into Lee-Galloway and his family

  12. Byd0nz 12

    I think that labour is keeping us aware of the fact the pandemic is still out there, knocking on the door and are perhaps using it to advantage in the campaign, but hang on!, it's a reasonable and good ploy, because what they are not saying directly, is that if the Nats should happen to get in, they would surely open the border a bit wider and increase the danger of the second wave, smart thinking by Labour because grouchy Brownlee and co wont directly accuse Labour of using it, they can only hint that way, but whatever it wont work for them. They're toast already.

    • anker 12.1

      Bloomfield is issuing the warnings of a second wave. He is a non political civil servant….

      Anyone who thinks NZ is all done with Covid now has not been paying attention.

      BTW hubby and I are currently on holiday spending some tourist dollars in our own backyard……its terrific. And those in the position to do so (we know we are lucky), thoroughly recommend you get out there!

      One tourist operator we spoke to was desperately hoping for a bubble with Oz. But he was even more adamant that the worst thing that could happen right now was if we had to go into lockdown again. He was also very appreciative of us local tourists (actually we get thanked everywhere for doing tours etc)….somewhat puzzling though think the guy was likely a National voter (trotting out where's the money coming from lines)

  13. George 13

    Victoria will do for labour what no amount of campaigning can achieve. And undo anything said by National, John Key, Helen Clarke and anyone else currently pushing for NZ to open up the borders any faster than is happening now. It's basically a giant election hoarding offshore…

  14. mpledger 14

    The reason that NZ is in danger now more that at any other time is that the number of daily new cases is still increasing outside our boarders.

    Even in places that were looking like they were getting things under control e.g. Japan, Spain, Australia; they are having second waves that are almost as bad or worse then their first waves.

    The more people coming here with the disease the more likely it is that it will escape isolation/quarantine. On the bright side these probabilities are all really small – its just they're not zero.

  15. mary_a 15

    I have a sneaky feeling National is hoping for a second wave Covid-19 community outbreak, prior to the election, giving Gez and Jude the opportunity to say "there I told you so, the government has failed NZ."

    • Brian Tregaskin 15.1

      I have a sneaky feeling National is hoping for a second wave Covid-19 community outbreak, prior to the election, giving Gez and Jude the opportunity to say "there I told you so, the government has failed NZ."

      The deep throat MOH leaker may in fact be trying to "assist"

      Jacinda please use our Security Services to try and prevent this scene from becoming reality.

  16. Treetop 16

    It comes down to what can be trusted/relied on and what cannot be trusted/relied on when it comes to lowering the draw bridge.

    During the plague was the draw bridge lowered when there was an epidemic?

    So much is unknown scientifically when it comes to Covid-19 and this is why strict isolation is the best defence.

    I am not happy with how an international flight crew is managed due to the exposure of Covid-19.

  17. Ken 17

    Do we really have time to go into all the things that Gerry's confused about?

  18. anker 18

    Brownlee saying this stuff is a disgrace. Again trying to find an angle (lie) to pitch against Labour in an election campaign

  19. sumsuch 19

    Aren't both these parties fucken ridiculous. For us who have seen Muldoon on through. 5 to 10 % of the electorate taking the appropriate notice. Hence the nonsense goes on before our noses. Aggravating. Why evolutionary designoid is superior to the designs of our species.

    A grand laugh is what it amounts to, and the stupendously stupid keep on having children, much like the cockroaches. Yep, we take a round-about way to be as blind as the other species. 10,000 years of agriculture and 270 years (!) of industry and we cogitate up a right to to plenty forever. Life now is brilliant, lets enjoy it, and support the rational and the neediest. 10 years to respond to …

  20. AW! C'mon, be fair.

    Gerry hated being a woodwork teacher. He just wanted to be prime minister, minister, member, whatever.

    He is just another, self entitled politician with expert knowledge on everything, especially airport security doors.

    Frontier security does not matter to him.

    I suspect the so called "tourism industry" will be backing him in destroying border controls.

  21. Austringer 21

    Eh! Gerry, if being in Haiti, after their quake and suggesting your proffering your aid, you would have been pin needled after your attempted aid, and corporate care.

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